Becoming a queen is rough with a surprising number of obstacles. It’s not so simple to be in love with the king of Atlantis, and this latest issue focuses entirely on Mera to show this. Is it good?
Aquaman #10 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? For the full DC summary just read this:
“HOUSE OF LIGHT”! Before Mera can marry Aquaman and become the Queen of Atlantis, she must undergo numerous trials to appease the ancient traditions of her adopted homeland. But not everyone in the court of Atlantis is keen to see an outsider ascend to the throne!
Why does this book matter?
Dan Abnett has been writing a solid series so far that will be even better collected. He’s paced the story well, introduced a political angle, and made Aquaman’s life a hell of a lot harder. The scale of the action has also been huge and it’s usually good for tight pacing and good dialogue too.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Sometimes it’s not so good to be the king.
This issue opens with a vision of doom for Atlantis which also comes with a message that haunts Mera throughout the issue. She repeats it to herself as events appear to be corroborating with the vision throughout the issue which does well to remind us this vision weighs heavy on Mera’s mind. This helps carry the plot forward and make Mera’s adventure to her happy place – on land no less – intriguing.
Abnett is clearly setting up Mera to feel unsure and possibly out of sorts as N.E.M.O. begins to enact the next phase of their plan. This works since he’s devoting an entire issue to Mera, but it also reminds us she’s key to the plot moving forward. It’s also nice to be reminded her life isn’t 100% devoted to the Atlantean world. Who knows how this story plays out, but Abnett does well to show us Mera (and Aquaman in other issues) has a very easy going relatable attitude that may not be queen like.
Nope, not at all!
The art by Brad Walker with inks by Andrew Hennessy draw a very realistic and beautiful Mera. The detail is high throughout the issue and Mera’s facial expressions expressive and easy to read. The action is tense too with Mera using some rather cool powers on a baddie, and the baddie returning some shots as well. Gabe Eltaeb does a fantastic job on colors, especially in a panel where a flash of light from a gun casts everything in a bright orange.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Minor plot elements nagged at me, like how Mera and Aquaman are basically awful dog owners, or how the hell did Mera know where Joanna was?
This issue spends more time focused on Mera’s doubt than on developing subplots, though it does reveal a detail or two about Elasmar that will surely factor in later on. Ultimately, Mera seems to be slightly off track from her usually calm and strong personality and so much time is spent on this the issue ends up feeling as though it’s treading water.
Is It Good?
This Mera focused issue adds a bit of action as it reveals a lot of doubt in the character with strong character development. The character work is strong, though it does seems to be slowing things down too much.